Nav: Home

How many people die from tuberculosis every year?

July 16, 2018

The discrepancies between the estimates for global tuberculosis deaths by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is due to different methodologies and data sources used by each institution. These differences are considerable in terms of absolute numbers for a dozen countries, according to a study led by ISGlobal - an institution supported by "la Caixa" Foundation. The results highlight the need to improve the modeling approaches in these countries in order to understand the true burden of the disease and design adequate health policies.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been- and remains- one of the main causes of death throughout the history of humankind. In 2016, it was the single infectious agent that caused the most deaths. However, many tuberculosis cases are not diagnosed and many of the deaths it causes are not properly assigned, which means that the global disease mortality must be estimated using mathematical and statistical models.

And here lies the problem. The WHO estimated that the disease caused 1.8 million deaths in 2015, while the IHME, that leads the Global Burden of Disease study, estimated 1.3 million deaths for the same year. This difference of almost half a million deaths could have considerable impact on the design and evaluation of health interventions.

ISGlobal researchers Alberto García-Basteiro and Joe Brew, together with colleagues from other research centers, undertook a study to understand the reasons underlying these differences in estimates. They compared the WHO and IHME databases, analysed their methodology, and tried to explore which factors might drive the observed differences.

They found that estimates were similar for a majority of countries. However, they detected considerable differences in the absolute number of deaths for a dozen countries, particularly Nigeria, Bangladesh and Tanzania. They also identified other countries with lower disease incidence (such as Azerbaijan, Marshall Islands, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea or Egypt) where the difference is considerable, relative to their burden of disease. The approach to calculate case detection rate, as well as the use of TB prevalence surveys, could be key factors underlying the observed differences.

"The efforts done by both institutions to estimate disease burden are important and necessary," says García Basteiro. "However, these results identify a series of countries where special care should be taken to improve the estimates and thereby help the health authorities to understand the true burden of the disease in the country and prioritize control activities." The authors also call on the international community to invest in developing or improving death registries and surveillance systems around the world.

In a related commentary, Peter J Dodd says "the fact that this paper exists should be a cause for celebration" and emphasizes "none of the estimates should be considered completely authorative. However, the areas of uncertainty should not undermine the global importance of improving TB control."
-end-


Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Related Disease Articles:

Viewpoint: Could disease pathogens be the dark matter behind Alzheimer's disease?
In a lively discussion appearing in the Viewpoint section of the journal Nature Reviews Neurology, Ben Readhead, a researcher in the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute joins several distinguished colleagues to discuss the idea that bacteria, viruses or other infectious pathogens may play a role in Alzheimer's disease.
Tools used to study human disease reveal coral disease risk factors
In a study published in Scientific Reports, a team of international researchers led by University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa postdoctoral fellow Jamie Caldwell used a statistical technique typically employed in human epidemiology to determine the ecological risk factors affecting the prevalence of two coral diseases--growth anomalies, abnormalities like coral tumors, and white syndromes, infectious diseases similar to flesh eating bacteria.
Disease-aggravating mutation found in a mouse model of neonatal mitochondrial disease
The new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variant drastically speeds up the disease progression in a mouse model of GRACILE syndrome.
Human longevity largest study of its kind shows early detection of disease & disease risks
Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) announced the publication of a ground-breaking study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
30-year study identifies need of disease-modifying therapies for maple syrup urine disease
A new study analyzes 30 years of patient data and details the clinical course of 184 individuals with genetically diverse forms of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), which is among the most volatile and dangerous inherited metabolic disorders.
Long-dormant disease becomes most dominant foliar disease in New York onion crops
Until recently, Stemphylium leaf blight has been considered a minor foliar disease as it has not done much damage in New York since the early 1990s.
Inflammatory bowel disease appears to impact risk of Parkinson's disease
Amsterdam, NL, November 14, 2019 - Relatively new research findings indicating that the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) may occur in the gut have been gaining traction in recent years.
Contact sports associated with Lewy body disease, Parkinson's disease symptoms, dementia
There is mounting evidence that repetitive head impacts from contact sports and other exposures are associated with the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia.
In kidney disease patients, illicit drug use linked with disease progression and death
Among individuals with chronic kidney disease, hard illicit drug use was associated with higher risks of kidney disease progression and early death.
Despite reductions in infectious disease mortality in US, diarrheal disease deaths on the rise
Deaths from infectious diseases have declined overall in the United States over the past three decades.
More Disease News and Disease Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.